Association of New Jersey Recyclers
Buy Recycled Guide | What is Buy Recycled?


Each arrow of the recycling triangle represents the three elements of the recycling process:

1.Collection of materials that otherwise would be thrown away

2. Manufacture of new products using those materials

3.Purchase of the new products.

Recycling isn’t completed until the materials we collect are turned into new products and those products are purchased. Demand for products made from recycled materials creates markets for recycling collection programs. There must be markets for products manufactured from recycled materials before the "loop" can be complete.

The New Jersey Business Guide to Recycled Products will help you identify and locate recycled products for your company. But the first step in buying recycled products is understanding what they are. Be aware that "recycled” does not mean that a product contains 100% recovered materials. The following terms may assist you.

Recycled product is any product that is manufactured in part or in whole using some recovered materials. The recycled content is the amount of pre and/or post-consumer material used to manufacture a recycled product and is expressed as a percentage of the total content.

Recovered materials is a broad term, covering both "pre-consumer” and "post-consumer” materials.

Post-consumer materials are used materials such as corrugated containers, office paper, p allets and packaging materials that are collected in office, commercial and residential recycling programs. These materials have been used by the consumer and then recycled.

Pre-consumer material: Scrap materials recovered from a manufacturing process, damaged or obsolete products, such as scrap-paper cuttings, plastic shavings, etc.-which are collected and reused to make new products.

By reading this guide, you've taken the first step towards "buying recycled."

What are the next steps you should take:

1. Obtain a commitment from management to purchase recycled products.

2. Make a commitment to buy recycled products whenever quality is equal and price is competitive to the non-recycled product.

3. Review your purchasing specifications to be sure they do not contain barriers to the use of recycled products.

4. Evaluate your current purchases to determine what is already being purchased, and where your purchases can be expanded.

5. Set a specific goal to spend a certain dollar amount or a certain percentage of purchases on recycled products.

MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, Let your employees, customers and vendors know that you've made the commitment to "buy recycled." Your leadership will demonstrate your company's interest in becoming a part of the solution to our country's solid waste disposal problems.

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